In a modern world where everyone is online, you can’t have a restaurant without a website. Whether you have several big restaurants serving food to thousands of people or you’ve just a opened a small local diner, your customers have to be able to see your website. There were 624,301 restaurants in the United States last year, so you need to keep up. You have to show people the location of your restaurant, display an online menu which will look beautiful on smartphones, show photos, introduce chefs, allow customers to contact you, etc. If you want to sell food online, take orders and reservations, things get even more severe.
Building such a website, yet making money from it, is not an easy task. Even with the help of WordPress, you will have to take care of each and every element. If you miss just one, you might lose future customers.
For starters, you should take a look at some of the best restaurant themes for WordPress. Those can help you build your site and attract visitors which you will have to convert into customers. Also, they can help you if you’re starting a food blog as well. Usually, those specialized themes will have everything necessary for running a restaurant website. But, if you’re building one from scratch or you want to replace a module with a better one, you will need a plugin good enough for your restaurant. Because of that, we’re about to show you some of the best WordPress plugins for a restaurant website.
FoodPress – Restaurant Menu & Reservation Plugin
This premium plugin takes care of two essential elements of restaurant website – menus and reservations. And it does a great job covering both. It doesn’t surprise there are more than 2,000 satisfied buyers on CodeCanyon.
Organizing food into categories and showing them in a menu is paramount for a restaurant website. If you are aware of that, you’ll like all the options you get with FoodPress. You can choose from several menu styles; there are categorized, vertical, simple, meal and dish type menus, and several more which all look amazing. Also, they are responsive which is a must-have option. If those aren’t enough for you, the developer offers several add-on menus which can extend the plugin. There are tons of restaurant-related icons which you get to include in the menu – just take a look at the demo site.
Reservations can be easy to implement with the extra FoodPress module. The form looks clean and nice and will be able to take all the reservations for your restaurant. Reservation management system is included as well so you can easily track everything.
The plugin is very customizable, offers shortcodes, custom notifications and so much more.
Cooked – A Super-Powered Recipe Plugin
Content marketing can and should be a part of every business. So, why not write recipes for your WordPress restaurant website and attract more visitors? If your only excuse is that it’s hard to maintain such a platform, take a look at Cooked. This premium plugin will take all the heavy lifting for you so you can relax and concentrate on recipes.
The plugin features Drag & Drop Recipe Builder which is fun to use. It allows you to add text, photos, ingredients, and much more. The plugin is responsive so you can let users read and write recipes on the go. Oh yeah, did we mention that Cooked lets you accept guest recipes on your site? Just enable the option, and your visitors will be able to write and upload their custom recipes which you can showcase on the site. The feature is simply amazing!
There are ten different recipe layouts, complete user profile system, custom login and registration forms, nutrition facts system, a cooking timer, and much, much more.
The plugin is very customizable, offers shortcode, custom notifications and several other features. If you’re interested in recipes on your site, you should also take a look at how to create professional recipes with Meal Planner Pro Recipes.
Foodify – Restaurant Food Menu for Woocommerce
If you plan on allowing your visitors to order food online, you should take a look at this premium plugin. Foodify is ready for WooCommerce, and you can set it up very quickly, without any fuss. The plugin is responsive and works great on all devices so that you can relax and start receiving orders no matter how customers come to your site.
Visitors can easily navigate through the categories you define, view more info about the food you offer and in the end, add the item to a shopping basket. The plugin is very simple, yet very customizable.
Build A Meal – WordPress Nutrition Calculator Plugin
Want to make your restaurant website a bit more interesting for your future customers? Build A Meal will let you create a simple nutrition calculator which you can put in front of your users. If you open the calculator, you’ll be able to select food and beverages you want to consume. The calculator will add the number of items and their nutrition values.
You can add as many categories as you want, add unlimited food items and nutrition info which means you get to add every ingredient your chefs use in the kitchen. It might be a time-consuming job to add everything, but your customers will love this option!
With just a few simple clicks, your future customers can (re)create a meal from your restaurant before they decide to order or come to your place. Every meal can be shared via social media or printed out. Since the plugin is responsive, you don’t have to worry if a user wants to calculate calories from a smartphone or a tablet even when they already sit at a table.
Google Maps Widget
You have to show the location of your restaurant. Your customers have to be able to see your address and get the location on maps quickly. Is there a better option than Google Maps?
Since all the modules for a restaurant website take a lot of resources, you shouldn’t load additional unnecessary data. That’s where Google Maps Widget can help you. Instead of showing the entire map, GMW excels in loading lightweight Google Maps. Customize your map, add a pin which will show the location of your restaurant, add a description and invite website visitors to your restaurant. You can even show them a photo, or link them to your online menu directly from the map.
Take a look at Google Maps Widget full review for more details.
Yelp Widget Pro
By adding this free widget to your site, you can quickly show your Yelp profile on the sidebar. It’s important what your customers say about the restaurant, so why not show that on your site? If you serve good food, people can help you promote your business.
The plugin is easy to use, and it helps you display business names, review counts, ratings and even profile images. Yelp Widget Pro also supports Yelp v2.0’s Search and Business API methods, and you get to show up to 3 reviews on your site. That should be just enough, don’t you think?
So, you already added the menu, allowed your users to read and write recipes, added a location, and even displayed Yelp reviews in a widget. Now let’s introduce your staff members.
Team Showcase is a powerful premium plugin which can show your team members in four different ways; display a simple grid, add info over the image, show staff in a table or use thumbnails pager layout.
You can show team members all at once, or you may organize them into categories. The plugin is very customizable, and even uses drag & drop feature so you can easily reorder team members. Change the number of columns, customize image shapes and effects, composition… there’s so much you can do with this fantastic plugin, and that’s why there are more than 4,000 happy buyers on CodeCanyon. If you want a simpler solution but still have a nicely laid out team members, check out Team Member plugin. It won’t get you so many options, but you’ll be able to show off staff quickly and nicely.
As we mentioned in the introduction, your restaurant website must have a contact form. We believe that the contact information, as well as the form, have to be visible and easily accessible. And if you can make it look nice and professional, that’s even better. To help you with all of that, we suggest that you take a look at Ninja Forms.
This fantastic plugin will let you create any form you like. From a simple contact form and quote request to an entire registration system. If you decide to upgrade the plugin, you can even connect it directly to your PayPal account so that you can make payments through the form and allow reservations, orders, and much more. Since there’s an actual demo on the official Ninja Forms pages, we suggest that you open it up and see how powerful the plugin is even before you install it.
NextGEN Gallery – WordPress Gallery Plugin
If you have a nice restaurant, you just have to show off the photos of the place. People can easily become interested in coming for a dinner if they see that your restaurant is neat and nicely decorated. If you have built a restaurant in a particular style, that’s something to show off as well. It is always a good idea to hire a professional photographer to take photos of the meals your restaurant prepares, so you have to show that on your site.
Although you can display photos directly from WordPress, you will want a gallery plugin to make those pictures stand out. One of the most popular plugins for the job is NextGEN Gallery which counts more than 1 million active installations at the moment. Even the free version will get you a ton of options and several different styles to choose from. But if you decide to upgrade to a PRO version, your options are practically limitless. We suggest that you take a look at the demo site to see all the features and gallery styles in action – you’ll love them!
We’re going to wrap up the list of the best WordPress plugins needed for a restaurant website here. As you can imagine, there are dozens of other great plugins which can also be included on the list; if you use one or if you find a plugin worth mentioning, let us know in the comments.
Do you have experience in building restaurant websites? Which themes and plugins have you used so far? Let us know and show your sites in the comments.